Networks and cooperation

The Nordic Council of Ministers defines a border obstacle as “any type of problem that prevents, restricts, or renders more difficult the potential of people to operate freely across national borders”. The Kvarken Council works actively to reduce border obstacles.

The Kvarken Council – a cross-border committee

The work to reduce border obstacles in the Nordic countries focuses on creating a more open North. We want it to be possible to move, commute, study, and operate businesses freely over national borders without risk of ending up in a grey zone or being restricted by unclear laws and rules. All parties benefit from an open North.

The Nordic Council of Ministers helps with:

Border obstacle work in the Nordic countries

According to the prioritizations of the Nordic Council of Ministers, border regions should strive to eliminate border obstacles. The Kvarken Council is one of the official cross-border operators, i.e. a cross-border committee, co-funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Cross-border committees partake in the development of cross-border cooperation in the Nordic countries and contribute to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat’s work with cross-border challenges.

The Kvarken Council takes border obstacle work into account in all its operations. The Council actively strives to reduce border obstacles and/or their effects in the Kvarken region with the help mappings, dissemination of information, and interest representation. The Council also actively participates in meetings arranged by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Border obstacle work in European networks

The Kvarken Council is working actively in a number of European networks to promote a more open Europe and to reduce border barriers.

European Straits intiative ESI

The Kvarken Council is a member of the European Straits Initiative ESI network, which is a partnership consisting of European regions bordered by a strait. The network’s goal is to promote the visibility of European straits and their specificities and represent their interests at EU level. The ESI partnership also aims to develop the launch of various cooperation projects and promote cooperation between the straits in terms of economic development, environmental protection, traffic and logistics, cultural collaboration, and tourism.

The EGTC Platform

The EGTC Platform was established on 27th January 2011 by the European Committee of the Regions. The Kvarken Council EGTC will be included in the EGTC Platform upon its establishment, which strengthens the Council’s opportunities to practice interest representation in Europe. The EGTC Platform is an organization that represents the interests of cross-border regions at EU level and simultaneously functions as a platform for the exchange of experiences. In addition to promoting the EGTC as a tool for territorial cohesion and giving visibility to EGTC projects, it also supports the European Committee of the Regions and fulfills a consultative purpose regarding cross-border issues.

Scandria® Alliance

Scandria Corridor is a geographic corridor which extends from the north of Scandinavia via Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Berlin, and Wien to the northern part of the Adriatic Sea in Italy.

Scandria Alliance is a cooperative platform for e.g. cities and regions along the corridor to cooperate on climate-smart multimodal transport solutions to achieve sustainable regional development. The Kvarken Council EGTC was granted a membership in the alliance in 2021.

The membership in Scandria Alliance results in better opportunities to interest monitor the needs and interests of the region on EU-level, and offers also a natural partnership platform for new projects, for example within CEF or the Interreg Baltic Sea Region. The vice-chairman Åsa Ågren-Wikström is the board’s representative in the steering group for Scandria Alliance.


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